In part one of this series, we discussed how to study the Bible. Now we’ll discuss where to start your Bible study. After all, the Bible is a big book, and deciding where to begin can be daunting. Below, I’ll go into specifics of where to begin your Bible study journey, and contact me at Atozmomm today for more advice!
WHERE TO START YOUR STUDY OF THE BIBLE
New Testament. Most Bible scholars recommend you start your Bible study with the New Testament if you are just beginning to study the Bible. The New Testament is easier to understand and covers the life of Jesus who is central to a Christians life. Furthermore, the New Testament has a more cohesive feel to it. Once you’re done with the New Testament, begin on the Old Testament with the Book of Genesis.
Begin with the Book of John. The Gospels (which are the books of the Bible that cover when Jesus was alive on Earth are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are the best place to begin studying the Bible in the New Testament, particularly with the book of John. The book of John is the easiest to read, covers who Jesus is, and prepares you for the other three Gospels.
Read Romans. The book of Romans, written by the Apostle Paul, will give you a great understanding of the Gospels as a whole and the entire book points to the Good News of Jesus Christ. The letters of the Bible, written mostly by Jesus’ disciples to the early Church is a great place to continue your Bible study.
OTHER GREAT PLACES TO START YOUR STUDY OF THE BIBLE
Psalms. The book of Psalms in the Old Testament is a book of encouragement, and a constant reminder to us that God is with us no matter our sins. The Psalms frequently offer hope and healing. A very poetic book written by various authors, this a great book to read before bed at night if you have trouble falling asleep.
Proverbs. Another great place to start reading and studying the Bible, Proverbs, written mostly by King Solomon who was blessed with wisdom by God, offers practical tips for living. Short and spicy, Proverbs will give you great advice when you need it the most.
Genesis. Some of us are very linear thinkers and there’s nothing wrong with starting at the beginning of the Bible and reading it all the way through. You will understand God more and dive into how and why Jesus came when he did.
Topics. One way to begin to study the Bible, especially if you are struggling with something you need help with right away is to choose a topic, and then study the parts of the Bible that relate to that topic. Most Bibles have subject indexes in the back, or a quick Google search will give you great places to start. Topics such as anger, encouragement, compassion, and joy are all great areas to start.
Reverend Billy Graham once offered up this advice when asked where to start reading the Bible, “Begin by reading the Gospel of John, for it tells us of Christ, of the ‘greatest life ever lived,’ and what He has done for us. Next read Acts, for it tells us what His first disciples did in the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Then perhaps the letters of John and the letter to the Philippians. Then you may want to read Romans as your next step in your Bible study, which sets forth the great doctrines which Paul taught.”
In the end, it truly doesn’t matter where you start your Bible study; just open up and begin. God will be wherever you land. Contact me for any questions!
Most of us read the Bible. We know the stories — Lot and his wives, Abraham and Sarah and Isaac, Moses and the 10 Commandments, and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. But knowing the details of the stories in the Bible is not the same as studying the Bible. When you study the Bible, you’re seeking to understand the message behind the story, what God is trying to teach the people in the story, and what He’s trying to teach you as you apply the lessons in your own life. Below, AtoZMomm will offer up tips on how to study the Bible.
HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE
Have a plan. Admittedly, the Bible is a huge book that can get quite complicated. You have to have a plan of where you want to start and/or lessons to focus on. Write down a weekly Bible reading plan, so you’ll get excited about what God is trying to teach you. The birth of Jesus is a great place to start as well as the very beginning with Creation.
Invest in a good study Bible. Study Bibles come with annotated notes, historical background information, maps, and chronological charts that will help you as you read the the Bible. A good Bible Dictionary and Atlas are great to have on hand as well.
Choose a translation. Part of the reason the Bible is difficult to understand is because it has been translated so many times: from Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English. It’s easy to see how mistakes can be made by scribes and how words can be mistranslated. Get a translation that makes sense to you. NIV (New International Version) is popular as well as The Message Bible.
Prepare your heart. Don’t approach Bible study as a chore. You are reading God’s very words to you. Maximize your time and enter Bible study prepared to learn. Anything else is not only a disservice to you, but also a disservice to God as well.
Pray. Ask God to teach you what He wants you to know and what can help you be more like Jesus and be closer to Him. Ask for wisdom to understand and an ear to hear what He has to say to you.
Studying the Bible is something you have to do if you want to grow closer to God and be more like Jesus. Setting aside as little as 10 minutes a day can have a profound impact on your life. Small moments add up to great things. If you have questions on how to study the Bible, reach out to AtoZMomm with a comment below. May God thoroughly bless you as you read and study His word.
Matthew 28:19-20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Evangelizing is something I believe a majority of us struggle with. For my last devotional, I would like to challenge you to invite one person either to Bible Study Fellowship, a different Fall Bible Study you may be doing, or your church TODAY. It’s a simple question, not a lot of pressure. But it could make all the difference in someone’s life!
Psalm 43:1: “Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; rescue me from deceitful and wicked men.”
Playing off of Monday’s devotional, do the right thing and God will vindicate you and defend you and rescue you from whatever you face. Faith. Belief. Reliance. Prayer. All your weapons against Darkness.
Psalm 113:3: “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.”
On this day when the majority of Americans will have their eyes to the sky, remember that it is God who gives us such amazing sites as a total solar eclipse. Only He could divinely design such incredible celestial events. Praise Him and thank Him for such an awesome sight when you look skywards today.
2 Chronicles 20:15: “‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.'”
Sometimes we fight against things in our lives that are completely out of our control. We forget whose battle it is: God’s. He’s the redeemer, the one who’ll make all things right. The administrator of justice. The final say. So quit taking on battles that is not yours; leave them to God. He’s in charge, not you. Use your strength and energy for much more productive things.